Monica, the mother of Saint Augustine of Hippo, was born in the year 332. Thagaste is given as her birthplace, and this is based less on historical evidence and more on the presumption that she was raised in the district where later she wed. During her infancy, Christians were just emerging from the period when they kept their religion secret for fear of persecution.
There has been speculation among historians as to whether Monica may have begun life as a schismatic Donatist Christian. The possibility is raised because Thagaste only became progressively anti-Donatist during the years 348-361, when Monica was aged between sixteen and twenty-nine years. It is known via the writings of Augustine that some of her relatives were Donatist (and Augustine therefore had cousins who were Donatists).
There is, however, no slightest whisper anywhere in the writings of Augustine that Monica may ever have been a Donatist, nor was there any insinuation of this nature ever raised by any of Donatist opponents of Augustine. At any rate, she is unlikely to have been completely untouched by such controversies, and the childhood of Augustine - even in a Catholic household - was surely not completely insulated from Donatism either.
When she was about twenty-two years of age, Monica was married to Patricius, aged 40 and one of the city magistrates at Tagaste. Patricius did not follow any religion. He was also violent and loose living. His main assets were that he was from a good family and could be generous at times. Following the marriage Monica shared her house with her mother-in-law which was a constant source of friction. Patricius did not change with the marriage.
He continued to be violent, and was not faithful to his vows of marriage. But Monica resolutely refused to give way to sadness or bitterness; instead, she cultivated an understanding with her husband.
Patricius became a Christian shortly before his death about the year 371. As he lay dying, his eldest son, Augustine, was seventeen years old. In spite of all the efforts of Monica to provide a good Christian foundation to his life, he lapsed. It is a strange paradox that as Patricius began to embrace the Christian faith, Augustine was still rejecting it.
Augustine’s mother. In another part of Augnet, there are more pages about Monica. As well, there can be found a page about Adedatus, the son of Augustine and the grandson of Monica, click here.
Photo Gallery For the Augnet gallery on Ostia where Saints Augustine and Monica prayed together in ecstasy and where Monica died, click here.
Monica. Augustinian Province website, California. http://osa-west.org/?s=monica
Saint Monica. Few mothers have had as great a biographer as Saint Monica, but few sons have had as great a mother as Saint Augustine. In fact everything we know about Monica comes from her son and most of it in the context of his own biography. From the web site of the Californian Province of the Order of Saint Augustine. http://midwestaugustinians.org/st-monica
Saint Monica. Monica was not the only matron of Thagaste whose married life was unhappy, but, by her sweetness and patience, she was able to exercise a veritable apostolate amongst the wives and mothers of her native town; they knew that she suffered as they did, and her words and example had a proportionate effect. This is the entry in the first edition of The Catholic Encyclopedia. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10482a.htm
Monica the widow (332-387). We know about Monica almost entirely from the autobiography (the Confessions) of her son Augustine, a major Christian writer, theologian and philosopher. Monica was born in North Africa, near Carthage, in what is now Tunisia, perhaps around 331, of Christian parents, and was a Christian throughout her life. http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bio/153.html AN3354